Telluriders breathed a collective sigh of relief yesterday as rescue workers emerged from the pothole they had descended into over forty-eight hours earlier. They lowered themselves down into the pothole in an effort to locate Kirk Wolfensteen’s team of explorers. About ten hours after the rescue team’s descent, Wolfensteen’s team emerged through a totally different route. With no way to contact the rescue team though family and friends could only wait.
The pothole, located between the round-a-bout and Eider Creek condos, first gained international attention when Telluride local, Rhonda Frapp, climbed out of it leaving her Subaru Outback about fifteen feet below. The shaken Frapp claimed that her car had not hit the bottom but had instead come to rest on top of a Nissan pickup truck. By the light of her cell phone Frapp observed that the truck was being held in place by the ladders on top of it, which had dug into the pothole’s sides. She said that she could not see the bottom of the pothole at all.
Just how deep was this hole? World famous explorer Kirk Wolfensteen intended to find out. He and his team of seasoned cave-ologists and mountaineers entered the pothole one day in late March. They quickly reached the Subaru and the Nissan and they continued to descend. About twenty minutes later all contact was lost. Few were worried however, since Wolfensteen and his team were seasoned.These guys were covered in seasoning. Then a day went by, then two. When five days had gone by with no contact a rescue team was assembled to go looking for them.
Search and Rescue team leader Eric Norberg went into the pothole along with three EMT’s (dripping with seasoning) and first aid gear. Soon contact was lost with them also.
About ten hours later Wolfensteen and his team emerged from an old iron door in the basement of the Sheridan Hotel. They looked happy, well rested, and well fed. And they had an amazing story to tell.
After descending on ropes for about two hundred feet they encountered a tunnel off the side of the wall of the pothole. They entered it and found it to be an old mineshaft. They walked for what seemed like miles and then they came upon an underground city.
“The sight was fabulous.” Said Wolfensteen. “It sat in a huge underground cavern and the city had all the modern conveniences. The people there treated us like kings. We met miners that had not seen the surface since 1948. They named their town ‘Village of Ophirado City 2’. It is wonderful down there. The houses are made of gold and parking is free.”
The next day Norberg’s rescue team emerged from the original hole. They were tired and hungry but alive. They were happy to hear that Wolfensteen’s team was safe. They saw no underground miner’s paradise. Nor did either team ever find the bottom of the pothole.